30 Days To A Happy Ending-Day 17

I think I've finally got my days situated...my weekend away completely threw me off. Day 17 it is.. Today's plan is to give a piece of advice to someone in need. There's nothing as effective as giving a piece of good advice to keep you feeling wise, and to make someone else feel special enough to be gifted with that wisdom. Note, however, that I specified the term "good advice." There is a very important protocol to follow involving giving advice.

Throughout the years, I have received A LOT of advice, so I feel qualified on this subject. My mom is an advice-giver of the pessimistic but useful variety-if you want to avoid food poisoning or sex-trafficking, she is the one to talk to. She is also preternaturally wise, and throughout the years, seemed to give me the most insight about the larger issues in life. Her words of wisdom seemed to creep into my subconscious against my will, somehow making me a better person without my knowledge or consent.

My dad is an advice-giver of the more practical kind-he has lots of advice about things like peeing outside without getting caught, but not so much about the life's larger issues. However, my father is also the most idealistic of optimists, and his advice was always rooted in cheerleading. If you want to hear a word of encouragement about your new plan to join the circus, spending an hour with my father will dispel any doubts you might have.

Giving advice has a bad rap. Most people see chronic advice-givers as nosy, intrusive, and bossy. And that's all true-so don't be a chronic advice-giver. Advice is like bacon-a little goes a long way. In small amounts: delicious. Too much and vomiting will ensue. Don't overwhelm people with all the wisdom you have attained through the years...they won't see you as wise, but as a patronizing gasbag. And they'll stop listening. Just like the tree in the forest...if the advice is not heard, does it really exist? There's your question of the day!

Save your advice for important matters. Don't waste it on things like the merits of flossing or whether vertical stripes are slimming. No one cares. The point is to share something that has changed you for the better with another person...and to make the recipient feel that this insight is a gift to them. Oh, and don't preface the advice with "I'm going to give you a piece of advice..." When you say these words, you've already set the stage for a boring statement that isn't worth listening to.

So think back to those words that echo through your mind when you need them the most, the words that have changed your outlook or maybe even the course of your existence...then share them with someone today.